Archive for September, 2010

Sep 30

Isola di Ponza

After a very good and cheap breakfast in town we continued the trip: Isola di Ponza was our next destination.

The trip went really ….how to describe: relaxing?! I got a little nap (for a couple of times!!!) and Basti did some splicing (he needs to practice for Peri’s “Hundeleine”!). We had almost no wind. It was ok for us: it’s also good to have a lazy day during this “Boot-Camp training”! Finally a vacation day!!!

Ponza is one of the Italians favourite places for holidays (the ones who leave in Rome or Neaple). We didn’t have very much about it in our guide though … weird! Anyway, we had several people telling us to go there and we decided to do so.

As we got close to the main town and harbour (Ponza) I called several Marinas in order to find a place for the night. Guess what: they did answer the phone but…the “good” news was: they were all closed! End of the Sommer season! Ohhhh nooooo….

We decided to give it a try and check what’s going on there….at least take some photos from the town and after that search for a bay for anchoring.

Fortunately, once we got there we saw another sailing boats anchoring in the bay in front of the harbour/town. The Marinas had removed all the docks and there was enough space for several boats to anchor. We just did the same as the others: we anchored at the Harbour/town bay :-D It’s really nice here and we get to see the whole town from our anchoring place: really romantic too ;-)

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Sep 29

Nettuno

We finally had a very quiet night…it almost felt like we were sleeping in a hotel! The wind got weaker and the waves were gone: this is the right time to move on.

We will continue our visit to Rome another time …. The weather is our commander and he’s allowing us to go ;-)

After a short breakfast in boat we called the Marina at Nettuno in order to be sure there was a berth for us: we didn’t want to take the chance again of getting there and the Marina to be full! There was no problem: they had enough places free. That was our Go: engine on and we continued the trip to the south!

The wind got a little stronger during the day but only enough to allow us to sail the whole time: Basti even got the chance to use his favourite sail, the “Gennaker” :-D

After a couple of hours the wind increased a little more. With the wind behind us, pushing us above the waves, we were able to reach 10,2 knots speed!!! That was amazing for our small sailing boat: really good surfing! By the way: it was me on the steering wheel ;-)

Basti has done better…but that was another time ….not today!!! ;-)

It is his birthday today…I should behave…but ….you cannot control the wind right?

We got to Nettuno around 17h30. It’s weird: the town is not mentioned in any guide but it’s really beautiful. The old town is built on and inside the old city wall! You better check the photos to understand what I mean. It was really cool!

For Basti’s birthday we went out for dinner (humm…..not really something unusual in the last two months…but what else could you do???…I cannot cook!!!!)

The dessert was great: home made Tiramisú!!! Delicious!!!

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Sep 28

Rome

The wind is weaker now but the waves are still strong so we decided to stay another day here and go and visit Rome.
We were not planning to visit Rome now: we preferred to fly here for one week and visit the city then. But, since we are stuck here, why not use the chance and just do a short quick visit?
We took a Taxi to get to the Colosseum and arranged with the driver to pick us up later at the same place.
Since there wasn’t much time to visit the town and we didn’t want to walk a lot we just bought a Bus Tour ticket directly at the Colosseum. It was the best way to get to know Rome in one day! We didn’t have to walk much and we got a very good overview of the main historical monuments the town has.
Rome is AMAZING!!!! You have old/historical buildings all over: on your left, on your right, in front of you…everywhere! You do need one week to get to know the town better!
And…I loved the shops…I could also imagine myself here for some days doing some shopping ;-) I had to control myself not to go inside each one :-D
By the end of the afternoon we still had some time left untill the taxi driver would pick us up so we decided to do something we both missed: we went to the cinema! We saw “Inception”…the new film with Leo di Caprio. Coolll film …. just the end is not very clear…it was all a dream???
Anyway, if the wind stays like this we will finally be able to continue our trip tomorrow!

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Sep 27

Porto Romano

We decided to take the day off today. The wind blew very strong last night and we didn’t sleep well. In fact, the wind still blows strong. We’re using the time to relax, update the blog, write some emails, do some Laundry (we have almost nothing clean to wear!), etc, etc, …
We’ll probably visit Rome tomorrow (short visit) and if everything goes as planned and the wind and the waves get weaker…then we will be able to continue on Wednesday with the trip back to the south :-)

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Sep 26

Porto Romano, Fiumicino

We checked several weather forecasts today before leaving the Marina. Unfortunately, all of them had different values and opinions how the weather was going to develop today!

It felt like playing “Roulette”!

We used our common sense and the knowledge we gathered in the last one and a half month and we also checked the current situation. Our weather forecast was something in between all the professional ones :-)

We decided to leave Civitavecchia and continue our trip back to the south. We expected good wind in the morning which would increase in the afternoon (when by then, we should be arriving to the next Marina) and we expected some waves.

Our weather forecast was better then some of the professional ones ;-) We’re getting good in this!!! We sailed most of the time and it was really fun! We had some waves but nothing special… it was a great fun! By the time we got close to Rome the wind did get stronger (as we expected) and the waves got higher. It was a good moment to get into the Marina.

Unfortunately, the Marina where we wanted to go was full/complete. That was not good: no good news at all! We had to decide very quick where to go next. None of us was interesting in sailing for another 4 or 5 hours to the next Marina in the South with the wind and waves increasing! After calling some of closest the Marinas we had already passed by, I finally found one which had a place for us! Wow….that was a relief! We only needed to get there as quick as possible. After checking the “Chart Plotter” we realized it was in fact almost next to the Marina where we initially wanted.

After a short fight with the waves we managed to get to the Marina. We were exhausted!

From the sailing and the waves our boat was (as expected) a chaos inside so we spent the rest of the day cleaning the boat and putting everything in order. After a huge Pizza we just went straight to bed!

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Sep 25

Riva di Traiano, Civitavecchia

In the morning the Island looks even loveliest. I loved it: its small town was very cute and cosy, people were very nice to us…it was really a pity we had to move on and the weather was so bad.

We had a short breakfast in a small café close to the boat and almost got hit by a heavy rain that came just as we got inside! Wow…the Niagara Falls were over us!

We left before 09:00 am and never got the chance to thank the nice “Roberto” for the night at the Harbour ;-)

The Niagara Falls didn’t stay at Giglio though and showed us its strength for a couple of times that morning! Wow…how it rained!!!

We had another visit today: but this time it was no bird! A dragonfly joined us for an hour or two! I think it was trying to protect itself from the wind and the rain… after an hour it was gone … no idea what happened.

We got to the Marina “Riva di Traiano” completely K.O. The wind had grown stronger on the way, and so did the waves. We were really happy to get there and have a protected place to stay…and we were also happy we were able to get further south again.

If everything goes as planned, we will back to Sicily by the beginning of October.

We have no photos from this Marina …. we forgot to take some. It was nothing special though ;-)

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Sep 24

Isola di Giglio

The weather forecast for the next days is not very exciting: rain and rain and heavy showers and the closest you get to Rome, the strongest will be the wind for the next days (the Mistral is blowing again!).

We decided to try to get as much as we could to the south. We are tired of rain and cold weather and we want to have nice warm days again and go snorkelling: we don’t ask for 30 degrees (although I wouldn’t mind at all) but warmer then 20 would be great! Specially the nights are very cold in this part of Italy!

So, we decided to plan our route in order to move as quickest (and safest) as possible to the south: we wanted to use some of the strong winds coming in order to be quicker. On the other hand, we preferred to be sailing or going south while it was raining then to stay stuck in a small town waiting for the rain to stop. As long as there is no storm, is everything ok, right?

As you can see from the photos: the morning at Porto Azzurro started already a little “dark”.

The wind today was not going be very strong but it was supposed to rain a lot: and it did!

On our way to Isola di Giglio we changed our minds about our destination several times: the wind was so weak, we didn’t think we would make it. Half way to the Island, we decided to give it a try: we couldn’t loose any more time so instead of sailing we used the engine.

Sometime in the afternoon we got a visit: a small little bird decided to join us for a while. We thought he wanted to show us a special way to the Island since he tried to take over the steering wheel (just kidding -> see the photos ;-) ) but we soon realized that he was after some flies we had on the boat :-(

After an hour or so, he left us: a very short but nice visit!

On our way to the “Isola di Giglio” we passed by the famous “Isola di Monteccristo” -> I think most of you know the film with Richard Chamberlain, which I forgot the name right now (something with Montecristo….Basti said in German it’s called “Der Graf von Montecristo”)… Anyway, we just passed by: it’s a protected area right now and it’s not allowed to go there…since we also didn’t have much time, we just took a photo and continued the trip to Giglio.

We managed t get to Giglio before it got dark! The sun was already gone but you still could see without using lights. Unfortunatelly, Giglio is a very small town and the Harbour is also not very big, so the normal places reserved for yachts were all taken! We managed to find a place though: until today we only know it belonged to a fisherman called “Roberto” which was supposed to come to us any time after 08:00 am next morning, but we never saw him!

The town is really lovely and it was a pity the weather was so bad. We had a pizza each other on a very small non-touristic restaurant close to the water and went to bed early: we had a hard and wet day behind us and the next on wouldn’t be better! We needed to recharge our batteries!

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Sep 23

Porto Azzurro, Elba

Our next stop in Elba: Porto Azzurro on the east coast. We used the engine for a while but as soon as the wind blew in the right direction we set the sails! We sailed until we got close to Porto Azzurro and we decided to have a short stop on a bay close to the harbour.
The east coast is very nice but unfortunately we didn’t do many photos from it… there were very, really very beautiful bays after Portoferraio.
We didn’t do much today…we cleaned the boat after we got to the Marina…we put some stuff into place (it’s always a chaos inside the boat after you sailed for a couple of hours!). We gave a short walk through town but we forgot the camera (no photos from the town today either!). For dinner we just got a restaurant at the see Promenade and we went straight to bed after dinner …. as usual: we were very very tired!

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Sep 22

Exploring Elba’s west coast by scooter

It is so nice here and the wind is so light that we decided to do discover the interior of the island …this time not depending on any trains or buses: we rented out a scooter!  On our way to the scooter rental place we passed a fishing takle shop. Result: we have another rod on board!

There are not many roads here and Elba is not very big, so we just took the road leaving the Marina and which goes along the west coast to the south coast until “Marina di Campo”. From there we took another road which took us through the interior of the island (5 minuts only!!!) and brought us to Portoferraio.

We visited first “Marciana”, then “San Andrea”, “Patresi”, “Chiessi”, “Fetovaia” (beautiful bay) before we got to “Marina di Campo”.

On our way from there to “Portoferraio” we passed by an interesting roundabout with a funny sign -> for Portuguese people are the city names very very funny: check the Photos and read aloud the names ;-)

Portoferraio is very nice but it didn’t impress us so much as we expected so we decided to stay another night at “Marciana Marina”.

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Sep 21

And once again we’re back to Bella Italia …. Isola del Elba

After checking and checking the maps and several weather forecasts we decided to change Island. Corse is very beautiful but we haven’t been having very much luck with the weather. It’s mostly cloudy or too windy and I haven’t been able to get rid of this cold for more then one week. We cannot appreciate properly the beautiful bays the island has and I miss some sun and warm weather and a good Cappuccino!

We decided to visit another time Corse …. hopefully with better weather next time and with better French know-how (it’s kind of difficult to live here without knowing French…Italian, English, German, Spanish or Portuguese are not enough!).

We left around 11am Macinaggio. Shortly after we left the Harbour Basti saw something coming out of the water. We looked better: it was a Swam of small fishes searching for food!

From that moment on until we got to Elba our fishing lines didn’t stop! No babies though: we had real predators in the lines! We didn’t fish all of them…no worries: lots of them got away and after we got three fishes (no babies) we stopped fishing! I even fished one of them with the rod (my first time using it!!! ….only used a line before!).

We wanted to go to Portoferraio for the night but with so many fishing we lost some time and had to take another Marina which came first: “Marciana Marina”.

“Marciana Marina” is a small nice town, not so full with tourists as most of the towns we’ve been. We liked it from the beginning. We didn’t go for a big walk though: we had three fishes to cook!

The first thing we did in town was to get the necessary ingredients for the fishes and we spent a relaxing and funny evening cooking “Fish Soup”! It was Delicious!!! The only problem: we cooked enough for a week!!!

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